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TRIZ Futures Conf. Day 2 afternoon

| On 04, Nov 2010

Ellen Domb
“TRIZ Inside: When are you going to step out of the TRIZ closet?” was the after-lunch challenge from Hans van Grieken from the CapGemini innovation practice. He showed a wide variety of successful innovation companies, and asked, “Would they be where they are today if they had only used TRIZ?” We had a very fast-moving hour being challenged by van Greiken on how TRIZ is publicised, on open innovation, on outsourcing, and on the arrogance of the old, non-global, tool-specific world view. He had a lot of praise for the TRIZ-related software tools (that had no people at the conference!) and made it very clear how confusing the TRIZ community looks to the innovation communities.

Ives de Sanger took the challenge in a different direction with “Abstracting TRIZ.” He showe TRIZ through the lens of knowledge management and particularly the classification of knowledge in the dimensions
Diffused – – Undiffused
Codified – – Uncodified
Abstract – – Concrete
Then showed how a plot in 3-dimensional space can represent a TRIZ view at different degrees of diffusion, codification, and abstraction. The various maps and representations of situations add to understanding but they also add to complexity. Ives proposed that developing the abstractions should become a community endeavor.

Denis Cavallucci presented a continuation of work that we have reported on from other conferences, “Using patents to populate an inventive design ontology.” The project is intended to answer significant questions of how to do the work of the stages of design and formulation of concepts, and demonstrating the reality of the concepts by means of case studies. Denis illustrated the difficulty of meeting Hans’ challenge by trying to thank the companies that gave case studies to the university without revealing anything about the concepts that were developed in those cases in metal processing and transportation. The debate between Denis and Simon Litwin on the use of function analysis vs. other methods for improvement vs. breakthrough will continue long beyond the conference.

“Effectiveness of the PAnDA Ideation tool” by Paul-Armand Verhaegen and colleagues demonstrated a TRIZ-influenced method used by large numbers of people without TRIZ training. The system does not require the layers of abstraction of the 2 previous papers, since it uses analogy in a graphical system in which distances on the graph represent the intellectual distance of the new idea from the domain of the problem. The challenge for this paper is to validate the method and to identify the best way to use it. The taxonomy of metrics may be controversial, but at least these authors were willing to try to measure results of their process, which others have avoided. For future tests I would suggest using people other than students, who bring different kinds of experience to the test situation.

After the break I shifted back and forth between the sessions. Frank Hallfell presentedd “TRIZ to invent your future utilizing directed evolution methodology” on behalf of himself and Boris Zlotin and Alla Zusman. This was presented as a review paper, rather than new research. A good round-table discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of the evolutionary potential graphic method resulted.

“World opening innovation strategy and the contributions of Altshuller” was contributed by Hansjurgen Linde and Gunther Herr, and was presented by their colleague Andre Nijmeh. They tied together many familiar models (stage gate, funnel, do right things/do things right, know how/know why…) and demonstrated their helical model for forecasting and their five levels of business (from world, to community, to business, to product, to user.) Contradictions that are encountred in the models are tracked, and ideas are selected for implementation based in part on the contradictions that can be resolved.

Sara Greenberg presented “Evolutionary biology, technological changes and TRIZ” as the concluding paper of the day. She showed analogies between geometry, mathematics, and other building blocks of nature in physics, chemistry, and biology, which people have persistently tried to take apart. Sara used the example of an insecticide-resistant aphid to demonstrate operators equivalent to multiplication and addition. The familiar 40 principles of TRIZ can be grouped by analogy to adding, subtracting, combining, multiplying, dividing, and inverting and selecting. The analogy diverges in the creation of new species: in biological evolution, new systems have the same componenents and the same functions, although the frequency of genes may be changed. In technological evolution, new functions are created, and the components may be the same or different. Sara concluded by challenging herself and the participants to consider whether we are genetically programmed to specific ways of thinking about systems.

The day’s technical program ended, but this is a very social group–there will be a walking tour of the upper city, followed by the grand dinner (and Bergamesque food is very grand!)